We'd like to recommend a lovely country drive. This is for people who like winding, hilly roads, with new sights over every crest and around every bend, green and lush in the springtime. You have to be alert while driving a road like this, and there are no shoulders; just grassy slopes, sometimes dropping quite quickly to a ditch. You pass in and out of some pretty small towns, not too far from the Maker's Mark Museum, also Thomas Lincoln's reconstructed log cabin, about thirty miles east of Abe's birthplace. You can see a few old tobacco barns, with spaces between their slats so the air can pass through, drying the leaves. The government makes it costly to grow tobacco, so the barns are mostly empty. Keep twisting and turning -- a sports car would be nice. Start in Glasgow, Kentucky, and then take U.S. 68 east through Edmonton (watch for the left turn in town), then north through Campbellsville to Lebanon. In Lebanon, turn left onto Kentucky 55 going to Springfield and Taylorsville. The country drive ends in Elk Creek, just a short way from Louisville. Civic fountain, Madison
Louisville has promise as a sightseeing city, but we seemed to be too early, in one sense of the word or another. Too early in the day for the Louisville Slugger museum. Too early in the week for the art museum. Too early in the season for the amusement park next to our empty motel (just as well, probably.) A few months too early for the Frazier Museum of Historic Armaments, which will house Mr. Frazier's gun collection (he's a local liquor dealer.) Perhaps years too early for the Muhammad Ali museum and dispute mediation and conflict resolution center. And too early to stop for the night at the brand new downtown Marriott Hotel across the street from the Convention Center.
So we took a drive instead. We liked the architecture in the historic districts, enjoyed the views of several urban neighborhoods filled with yuppie attractions, gave the well-advertised glassworks a pass just to avoid the rain, passed Spalding University and learned it dates from 1827. It was associated with a holy order of sisters who had special passes to tend both Union and Confederate soldiers, and now offers consolidated Catholic education in the Diocese of Louisville.
Cities have to work hard to stay vital and attractive to tourists. A key to success is making attractive housing for yuppies close to downtown. At one time Louisville's downtown was a near-total disaster, but it seemed to us to be recovering. We look forward to a return visit in better weather and after some more of the improvements in progress have been finished. Lanier Mansion
For years we've carried around a smal book published by the National Geographic Society which contains a few scenic highways in every state of the Union, and for the most part we've always loved the beautiful drives. So we decided to take the scenic drive from Madison, Indiana to Aurora along the banks of the Ohio River.
Well, we were too early again! Although we crossed into the Eastern Time Zone in Kentucky, we found that much of Indiana does not go on Daylight Savings Time -- so it was an hour earlier in Madison than in Louisville, and the Visitor Center was shut tight. No matter, we drove up and down the streets of this charming town and enjoyed the historic buildings.
In the nineteenth century Madison was one of the biggest cities in Indiana, bolstered by a booming trade along the Ohio River, and several factories and mills. So Madison has lots of historic homes, and a gorgeous fountain, which is probably worth the trip itself. We were too early to visit the Lanier Mansion, which occupied a prominent position on the banks of the Ohio. The mills in Madison were all closed now, so the city evidently derives its livelihood primarily from summer tourism.